Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Letter to the Orioles

Yesterday on Facebook, I put Joyce of the Baltimore Orioles ticket office on notice that if she is that unhappy with her job that I would be glad to take over. Well today, I wrote my first ever complaint letter. I really wish I had followed up with the Mariners after my experience that I entitled, "Fear the Beard" aka The Seattle Mariners Ticket Office. Still, this exchange with the Orioles stung even more because of my life-long history with the team. 

I am working on a list of "Thing I Think, I Think" about baseball in general - so more to come. In the meantime, here's my best attempt at an effective letter...

March 10, 2016

Scott Rosier
Manager, Season Plan Sales
Baltimore Orioles
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
333 West Camden Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Dear Mr. Rosier:

I am writing this letter to you in response to a most unpleasant exchange that I had with Season Plan Sales Representative, Joyce Noto on March 9, 2016. The reason for my call was to purchase tickets for an upcoming Orioles Game.

As a life-long baseball fan, with many fond memories of the Orioles this interaction was especially disappointing to me. Even though I was raised in Philadelphia, Chicago, and now live in Denver, my family roots are in Baltimore; so I have always kept a close eye on the Orioles. Like so many children of the 1980s, I grew up admiring Cal Ripken, Jr. I had a crush on Brady Anderson in my teen years, I was angered by the fan interference play of the 1996 ALCS, and I will never forget watching, on TV, the numbers on the warehouse change to 2,131 when Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record. The Orioles ascent from the lower ranks of the ardent AL East to be more competitive gives me hopes for both the White Sox and the Rockies to figure things out one day.

As an adult I have become a ballpark chaser. To date, I have been to 18 stadiums, and my upcoming road trip of five stadiums in nine days will get me closer to completing the goal. Camden Yards may not have been my first baseball experience (Veterans Stadium), but it is the ballpark that made the biggest impact. Each stadium I go to is compared to Camden Yards. I have seen delightful parallels in use at Comerica Park and Coors Field, which is also where I was married; but they’re not quite the same.
While I am a Millennial, I am rather “old-school” in that part of the ballpark chasing experience is talking with locals in the ticket office. The enthusiasm and pride that many of the ticket agents display for their home ballparks is contagious. Plus I get the inside track on the best place to catch a game. I recognize that there is a mixture across Major League Baseball as to whether teams sell lower quantities of tickets for individual games. In an effort to be prepared, I made an inquiry back in February to find out the stance of the Orioles. I spoke to a very pleasant man who said that the ticket office would be glad to assist me once the tickets went on sale.

Based on this information, I trust you can understand why I was shocked to have been immediately transferred to So I called back, and had my regrettable exchange with Ms. Noto. She did not understand why I would want to speak to someone in the ticket office who, in her words “could see the green grasses of Camden Yards, rather than ‘Hazel’ at” After I explained my reasoning a second time, she tersely stated that this has been the practice of the Orioles for 27 years. She went on to say that unless I wanted to be a season-ticket holder there was nothing she could do for me. Even though there are teams that will not sell individual game tickets, this is the first time I did not even have the opportunity to converse with an agent about the nuances of a ballpark.

I proceeded to purchase my six tickets for a game in May through Please understand that I refuse to let this impact my experience at Camden Yards, especially since this will be my husband’s first trip, but the whole incident left a bad taste in my mouth.

For those of us on the outside the opportunity to go to the ballpark every day for one’s job feels like a privilege that should be treated with respect. I trust that this is not the way that the Orioles do business; so I wanted to make you aware of your employee’s actions.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Go Orioles!

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